A report on health insurance costs in 40 metropolitan areas by eHealth,
Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealth.com)
shows that monthly premiums for short-term coverage average 80 percent
less than premiums for health insurance plans meeting the coverage
criteria of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The eHealth study compared monthly premiums for the lowest cost
short-term health plans available at eHealth.com to the lowest cost ACA
plans available at Healthcare.gov or CoveredCa.com in 40 metropolitan
areas served by eHealth in June 2018. Read
the full report.
“If you can afford ACA coverage, that’s great. The trouble is that too
many middle-income folks can’t,” said eHealth CEO Scott Flanders.
“Premiums for ACA coverage are well beyond what most people consider
affordable, and frequently higher than what the ACA itself considers
affordable. Short-term benefits are not comprehensive, but these
consumers aren’t facing a choice between rich benefits and limited
benefits – they’re facing a choice between having some protection
from unexpected medical costs or having none at all.”
Three Key Takeaways from eHealth’s
Short-term coverage can save consumers more than 80 percent on
premiums: The average lowest priced short-term plan from eHealth’s
analysis would cost a family of three $116 per month compared to $862
per month for the average lowest priced ACA bronze plan, a savings of 87
percent. The average lowest priced short-term plan for a 40-year-old
woman would cost $60 per month compared to $347 per month for the
average lowest priced ACA bronze plan, a savings of 83 percent.
The ACA and American consumers disagree on affordability: The ACA
considers health insurance premiums “affordable” if they cost no more
than 8 percent of household income. That translates to $376 per month
for a median US household. At a household income of $100,000, that would
be $667 per month. However, an eHealth survey found that nearly three
quarters of respondents (74 percent) consider anything higher than $200
per month unaffordable for them.
Affordable ACA coverage is often out of reach for the unsubsidized,
making short-term an attractive option: In the ten most
affordable cities for ACA coverage in eHealth’s analysis, premiums for
the lowest-priced bronze plan cost over 13.9 percent of the state’s
median income on average. By contrast, in eHealth’s ten least
affordable cities for short-term coverage, premiums for the lowest
priced short-term plan costs less than 4 percent of the state’s median
income on average.
Additional findings and important methodology information about
eHealth’s analysis are available in the full report which is available
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) owns eHealth.com, a leading private online
health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small
businesses can compare health insurance products from brand-name
insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online and
over the phone. eHealth offers thousands of individual, family and small
business health plans underwritten by many of the nation’s leading
health insurance companies. eHealth (through its subsidiaries) is
licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of
Columbia. eHealth also offers educational resources, exceptional
telephonic support, and powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help
Medicare beneficiaries navigate Medicare health insurance options,
choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online or over the
phone through Medicare.com (www.Medicare.com),
and PlanPrescriber.com (www.PlanPrescriber.com).
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